Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Walk of Faith

Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.  Genesis 5:24, NIV


I wonder what Enoch and God talked about as they walked together each day. Perhaps Enoch commented on the beauty of the sunrise that morning and how much he had enjoyed listening to the sound of the birds calling to each other as they awakened before dawn. Or perhaps he told God how grateful he was for the evidence of His faithfulness when he saw the sun come up every morning.

It was never drudgery for Enoch to meet with God. It wasn't something he felt he had to do; it was something he wanted to do. In the process, he must have grown in an ever more intimate, loving, personal knowledge of Who God is. He gave God his undivided attention, spent more and more time with Him, gained a greater and greater depth of understanding, allowed fewer and fewer interruptions until there were no interruptions at all and his walk of faith became sight!

Enoch's friends looked for him, but he couldn't be found, because he had walked right into the very presence of God!

Blessings

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Greater Miracle

"Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him." John 11:14-15, NIV

Jesus was glad Lazarus had died without Him?! What does that mean? We know it doesn't mean He enjoyed knowing that Lazarus had died or that He enjoyed thinking about the family's grief and despair.


Jesus was teaching His disciples - and you and me - a life lesson. And what a life lesson it is! The lesson is this: There is a greater miracle than physical healing! It's the miracle of the Resurrection! Be encouraged!


Even if your prayer is not answered


and your loved one is not healed


and your marriage is not reconciled


and your financial problems are not solved


and your child is not found -


there is hope! 

Jesus was glad because He knew God would be glorified to a far greater extent by the death and resurrection of Lazarus than He would have been by Lazarus' healing and recovery from sickness.


Would you rejoice with Jesus for the greater miracle that IS coming to you?


Blessings

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The World vs. Christianity

‘AKEHLUKEK’ UBABA (WITH GOD EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE)

‘AKEHLUKEK’ UBABA
(WITH GOD EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE)
Kwa maana jinsi hii Mungu aliupenda ulimwengu, hata akamtoa Mwanawe pekee, ili kila mtu amwaminiye asipotee; bali awe na uzima milele.
{For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.}
Bayayazi yini bonk’abantu lendaba emnandi kangaka, madoda?
{Do all the people know this very great news, oh people?}
Uma kuguquk ‘izinhliziyo kwabase ningizimu… Kuye kwa qoqan’umhlaba wonke…
(When the hearts of the masses were changed… The whole world was drawn together…}
Kuye kwajabula umhlaba wonke… Ake hluleke unkulunkulu…
{The whole world rejoiced… With God nothing is impossible…or God never fails…}
Hayi! AKAKAZ ’ehluleke unkulunkulu…
{No! God has NEVER failed…}
Ngoba nami wake wanasiza… Woza, kuye naw ’uzokusiza…
{Because He has helped me… Come to him, He will help you too…}
Baningi ubasizile akakaze ehluleke…
{God has helped many…}
Uma beqoqana bonke beza kuye.
{Whenever the people gather together and come to God.}

The Greatest Life

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. Jeremiah 17:7, NKJV


Who is Jesus? He lived two thousand years ago, in an obscure town, in an obscure country, during a relatively dark period in human history that was dominated by the Roman Empire. Yet He stands unequaled and unparalleled in the phenomenal greatness of His life as well as in the stunning impact He has had on history.


As we look back over the past two thousand years, a handful of individuals seem to rise up from our history pages - individuals whose lives or words or accomplishments impacted the entire human race, for good or for bad. Names like Julius Caesar, Martin Luther, Muhammad, Christopher Columbus, Adolf Hitler, Alexander Graham Bell, Jonas Salk, and Mahatma Gandhi come readily to mind. Yet I would heartily agree with Reynolds Price, who in the introduction to his Time magazine cover story on Jesus, wrote, "It would require much exotic calculation . . . to deny that the single most powerful figure - not merely in these two millenniums but in all human history - has been Jesus of Nazareth." Amen!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Go and Tell

Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him.John 12:18, NIV

What has Jesus done for you? What things have your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, classmates, teammates, employers, employees, professors, doctors, lawyer, counselor, pastor, and anyone else heard about that Jesus has done for you? John testified that, "Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him." Who is seeking to meet Jesus because of what He has done for you?

When have you told someone about how He raised you from spiritual death?

When have you told someone about how He forgave your sin and removed your guilt?

When have you told someone about the disease He healed,

or the prayer He answered,

or the blessing He gave,

or the promise He fulfilled?

Go . . . and tell someone about Jesus!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Blessed Assurance

Happy are the people whose God is the Lord! Psalm 144:15, NKJV


Are you facing the future with eyes wide shut, teeth clenched, body tensed, dreading your tomorrows and what they may hold? Do you feel as though you are standing on the brink of a deep, dark abyss of helplessness and despair, caught up in events involving yourself or your loved ones that are beyond your control? Regardless of what those events may be, no matter your mental or emotional or spiritual state, God's vision of the future can fill you with hope right now.

You and I can look forward WITH HOPE! because we have the blessed assurance of Heaven, My Father's House!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bearing Much Eternal Fruit

"You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last." John 15:16, NIV


Do you struggle with knowing the will of God for your life? For your marriage? For your family? For your home? Knowing God's will is not difficult - unless you are not abiding in Him. Jesus indicated that knowing His Father's will is the fruit of abiding as well as asking: "You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name" (15:16, NIV).

God has chosen you and me for the purpose of bearing much eternal fruit - fruit in our character such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control exhibited toward those within our own home - fruit that is simply the character of God's Son coming out in us. We are to bear much eternal fruit in our service as we lead other people to faith in Jesus Christ and help them to grow into maturity so that they in turn will produce much eternal fruit in their lives.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Bible Study of the Marriage of the Bride of Christ

A Bible Study of the Marriage of the Bride of Christ 

To understand bible prophecy about the return of Jesus Christ, we need to understand the Jewish Wedding as presented in scripture, because Christ spoke of his return with many Wedding Analogies. Matt 22, Matt 25, Rev. 19 & 21, Luke 12:36, "And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding..."
The Holy Bible says the Bride of Christ is the Church.
Eph 5:25 "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church... ",
2Cor 11:2 "...I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.",
Rom 7:4...."ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead..."

The Wedding Analogy shows the Pre Tribulaiton Rapture because the union of the bride and groom (the rapture) takes place at the start of the Bridal Week, which is a type of the Tribulation Week.  The word for bridal week as used in Genesis 29 & Judges 14  is the same word in Daniel 9:27.  The word "week", or shavuah in Hebrew, simply means a seven, it means seven days or seven years.  Further, there are two Old Testament examples where a day from a prophetic type turns into a year of judgment.  Num 14:34 & Ezek 4:6.

Here are a few key examples of the significance of the Wedding Parallel. The bride price is paid by the groom for the bride.  Jesus paid for us with his life. The virgin girl shows that she accepts the written covenant agreement of the marriage by drinking a glass of wine, and this has become the communion ritual that Jesus gave to the Church.  The betrothed bride would also have a ritual cleansing bath, and this is like baptism of water and spirit, or the cleansing of the word in Eph 5.
The groom departs to build the bridal chamber where they will live together, and Jesus said John 14:2 "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." John 14:3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

When finished, the groom would return at a time unexpected "of that day or hour no man knows" to fetch, or take away (rapture) his bride, like a thief in the night, which is a type of the action of the rapture.  At the end of Judges 21, there is a mass bridal abduction.  In Deut 22:25-29 and Exodus 22:15-17 we see that the penalty for taking a virgin (through force or seduction) is a permanant marriage with no divorce provision.  This is like the "incorruptable immortality" as described in the rapture passage in 1 Cor 15:51-54

Thus, the intimate union between man and wife in the bridal chamber is a picture of being in heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ after the rapture.  At the end of this bridal week, the bride and groom emerge at the wedding feast or marriage supper.  Even the slaughter at the marriage supper, or Armageddon, is pictured in Judges 14 as Samson kills 30 Philistines.

I urge all who read this to study more of these Wedding Parallels, which teach about the pre tribulation rapture, and the type of relationship our Lord Jesus Christ is seeking with us.

The Marriage of the Bride of Christ.  The Pretribulation Rapture Introduction and summary of scriptures for each topic below
  1. The Holy Spirit choses the bride, and brings people to God through repentance
  2. A bride price (dowry) is established, Christ gave his life to purchase and redeem us
  3. Consent: the bride agrees and chooses to accept her husband's offer
  4. Written document, Covenant agreement, written registry
  5. Drinking a glass of wine; a toast, a communion, seals the covenant agreement.
  6. Betrothal [espoused/engaged/promised]
  7. Ritual Cleansing bath; a Mikveh or Baptism
  8. Gifts given to the Bride
  9. The bridegroom departed, going back to his father's house to prepare the bridal chamber, closet (many mansions)
  10. The bride was consecrated, set apart, and kept herself ready for the bridegroom to return, and wore a vail which is like the blood of Jesus covering our sins, the righteousness of the saints
  11. Bridegroom comes for his Bride on a "day or hour no man knows, but my father only" with a shout, command, last trump, trumpet blast
  12. Jesus comes for (raptures) his Bride as a Thief
  13. Going through the open door into heaven (at the rapture)
  14. The bridal week (a day for a year) in the wedding chamber as the tribulation week of Daniel
  15. (Marriage supper / Wedding Feast) when the bride and groom emerge from the bridal chamber at the end of seven days, and the Lord returns with the Bride at the end of the seven year tribulation
  16. The slaughter at the marriage supper
  17. The bride and groom were seen as king and queen, trumpet blasts herald the reign of a new king, at the rapture at the trumpet blast, Christ and his people begin to rule in heaven
  18. The Judgment Seat of Christ, (pictured by the Feast of Trumpets, a picture of the wedding of the messiah, and rapture.)
Wedding Bible Study in Scripture The Full Wedding Study of all the above essays, all in one document, over 138K.  Last updated Dec. 7th, 2000.

The Jewish Wedding Ceremony Two original studies that were sent to me, before I did my own scriptural research on the topic of the wedding as a picture of the rapture.  They show how Christians are Wed to the Lord Jesus Christ. Pre Tribulation Rapture is shown in the Bridal Week. These two studies original sources were from http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/2175/ and http://www.returnToGod.com/.

The Ultimate Wedding  by Bill Risk (WPRisk@aol.com)

A Jewish wedding Greg Killian's website: Mostly scriptures used to describe a wedding.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Basis for Hope

He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.Proverbs 16:20, NKJV

When God had told Noah He was "going to bring the floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens," He had also said He would establish a covenant with Noah and his family to keep them alive along with all the animals who would come to him (Gen. 6:17-18, 20). Noah had God's promise that God would bring him through the Flood to new life on the other side.

Have you been in a situation that has proven to be extremely stressful? It may not have been as stressful as a nuclear holocaust or a devastating flood, but has the pressure been great enough so that consuming fear and worry have been your constant companions?
When you find yourself drowning in overwhelming circumstances, ask God to give you a promise to which you can cling - a promise on which you can base your hope. Hope that is based simply on what you want or what you feel is not a genuine expression of faith. Our hope must be based on God's word

Monday, January 23, 2012

Who is the "BRIDE OF CHRIST?"

do you know who the bride of christ is?The Bride Of Christ Is A Remnant

For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.  —Isaiah 54:5


From Genesis to Revelation, the Scriptures reveal God’s desire to have an intimate relationship with mankind and dwell in his presence.  Yet, as much as the Creator wanted to lavish His love upon man, He would only do so if man mutually agreed to this relationship.  For this reason God created man with a free will, allowing him to choose if he wanted to dwell and walk with God in all eternity.  Today, our Heavenly Father continues to extend that choice to His family of believers—allowing them to determine what kind of relationship they want with God. 

For each of the different types of relationships described in the Bible—whether it be a body, family, a vineyard or an army—God’s greatest desire was for a more intimate relationship—one which could only be pictured between a husband and wife.  To demonstrate this, Yahweh chose to use the marriage relationship as a “type or shadow” to the degree of intimacy He wanted with His church. 

The marriage between Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden was a prophetic foreshadow of Jesus’ desire to be married to His bride, the church.

Genesis 2:23-24 says:

And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

These same words are spoken again in the book of Ephesians 5:30-32:

For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

We read in Genesis 1:26, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”  In Philippians 2:6-7, we see Jesus described as being in the likeness of man:  “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.”  This is mentioned again in 1 Corinthians 15:45-47.

We also see how Adam was named as King of the Earth.  Psalm 8:3-6 says:

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him?  and the son of man, that thou visitest him?  For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.  Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.

All believers know Jesus is the “King of Kings” as described in Daniel’s night vision in 7:13-14:

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.  And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed

God created Adam to have dominion over all the earth, ruling and reigning over God’s creation as a king over the earth.  With his authority, Adam named everything as we can see in Genesis 2:19-20.  This is a prophetic picture of Jesus who has been given the name that is above every name, demonstrating His authority as mentioned in Philippi-ans 2:7-11.

However, God determined it was not good for Adam to be alone, so He formed a help meet for him (Genesis 2:18).  The bride was a suitable match for him, completing him.  Just as God presented a “suitable” mate for Adam, so He will present Jesus, with a suitable bride.

The Scriptures tell us that God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam.  Genesis 2:21 says, “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof.”

This picture of “deep sleep” is also a prophetic shadow, as mentioned by Jesus in John 11:11-14:

These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.  Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.  Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.  Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

Sleep, a synonymous term for death in the Bible, is a spiritual picture of death of the flesh followed by resurrection concerning the Lord.  We can read about this in 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-53.

Adam’s side being pierced or wounded was a spiritual picture of Jesus' crucifixion on the cross.  Isaiah 53:5 tells us, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him.”

Following this incision to remove one of Adam’s rib (a small remnant), God fashions Eve; thus, the wedding in the Garden of Eden is a prophetic picture of His bride, the church, who will come out from the body of Messiah, through the shedding of blood.

Just as Eve was taken from the side of Adam (his rib was taken from his body), so the Bride of Christ will be taken from Jesus' body. Jesus' bride will be taken out from His body of believers from among those who are saved. 

The bride of Christ in Scriptures is pictured as a female, though the distinction of His bride being made up of males and females is irrelevant.  There is no gender in our heavenly position in Messiah.  Scriptures tell us we are all sons of God through faith.  Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Many Christians today believe the “body” and “Bride of Christ” are synonymous terms.  However, that is simply not true.  The Greek word, Ekklesia, means “congregation of believers” as referred to as His body in Ephesians 1:22-23.  The definition of “church” is “called out ones” and refers to the remnant that came out from the body and is set apart for Him alone.

Not everyone who has received the gift of salvation will respond to this closer walk.  Believers who continue to live a worldly, or carnal, lifestyle will not be ready to meet the Bridegroom.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

God of the Impossible

"With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."Matthew 19:26, NKJV


God is a God of the impossible. When we are utterly helpless, He is our Helper. But He requires the cooperation of our obedience.

What seemingly impossible task has God given you to do? Have you done it, or are you procrastinating? What if Noah had procrastinated and told God he would build the ark but at a time when he felt he was more rested, more capable, when he had had sufficient training, when his financial situation was more stable, when his family was more self-sufficient, when it was just more convenient? If he had had the attitude many of us do when God gives us an assignment that is beyond our ability, he would have been totally exposed in his helplessness and unprepared for the awesome devastation when it struck.

Instead of procrastination, Noah obeyed without question or hesitation. Noah did everything just as God commanded him (see Gen. 6:22). What impossible task could you accomplish if you would cooperate with God by obeying His Word?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Unconditional Love of God



It's the mother lode of scripture, the Hope Diamond of truth. It's Fort Knox in a book. And every week we're asked to stand in front and display its dazzling beauty: "I have loved you with a love that lasts forever, and with unfailing love I've drawn you to myself."

It's the story of God's immeasurable heart and incomparable love, offered without strings and paid in full to an undeserving and resistant people. No one could have devised such a plan...no one except God. It's so...like Him!

During the early years of his ministry, Dwight L. Moody was visiting churches in England when he met a young and eager preacher named Henry Moorhouse. Moody, in a polite but insincere gesture, invited Moorhouse to visit him: "If you should ever get to Chicago, come preach in my church." It was a glib comment. Moody never intended to surrender his pulpit to the Brit.

A month after Moody returned home, he got a telegram from Moorhouse: "Have just arrived in New York. Will be in Chicago on Sunday."

Moody was dumfounded and embarrassed. And, to make matters worse, he was scheduled to be elsewhere that same Sunday. Yet, he had made a promise.

Moody explained the situation to his church leaders and instructed them to allow Moorhouse "to preach one time. If the people enjoy him, put him on again."

A week later Moody returned from his trip. He inquired of his wife how the young Moorhouse had fared. "He was wonderful," she replied. "He's even better than you are. He told sinners that God loves them!"

"But that's wrong," Moody complained. "God does not love sinners!"

"Then you better go tell him yourself," she said, "because he's convinced that God does."

"You mean he's still here?" asked Moody.

"Yes," she said, "and he's been preaching every night since you left."

That evening, Moody went to the meeting and heard Moorhouse preach on The Unconditional Love of God. It was Moorhouse' sixth consecutive night in Moody's pulpit, and all six sermons were based upon the same text: "For God so loved the world..."

Moody was spellbound. For the first time he had been confronted with the enormity of God's grace, and the openness of His love. Moody's life and ministry were never again the same.

Fifty years later, songwriter Frederick Lehman was moved by the same truth. After reading and rereading "I have loved you with an everlasting love," Lehman wrote:

The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell,
It goes beyond the highest star and reaches to the lowest hell.
O love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong!
It shall for evermore endure the saints and angel's song.

Oddly, the hymn's 3rd verse was written by a man the composer never met, Ben Isaac Nahorai. The unknown Nahorai had suffered for years from mental depression and was finally committed to an asylum. While there he too discovered the immense love of God. After Nahorai's death these words were found written on his asylum wall:

Could we with ink the ocean fill and were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill and every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry,
Nor could the scroll contain the whole, tho' stretched from sky to sky.

The story of God's immeasurable love is what we've been chosen to tell. It's God's gift to mankind, and our privilege to deliver.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Adventures in Faith


On a Mission from God
The entire world is a mission field. Every day, as we walk out the door, we’re going on a mission trip—to work, school, the store . . . wherever. In fact, we don’t even have to leave our homes. We’re on a mission from God with every phone call we make, every e-mail we send, each blog we write, every status update we key in, every tweet we answer, and shocking as it may sound, with every letter we write with a pen on paper!
But this trip is unique. It’s different than those other “mission trips” we take. Many of the experiences we have will be new. We’ll meet and serve with new people. (Even if you’ve been to this same place before, you’ll likely encounter new things!) It’s an adventure in faith! God has blessed you and will lead you to bless others.
In the movie Blues Brothers from 1980, the characters repeated one tagline again and again: We’re on a mission from God. It was a fun movie, but less than godly. The producers used the tagline as a joke. But you can say you truly are on a mission from God, for God, and for the sake of God’s eternal kingdom. What an honor and privilege!
You’re probably excited. You may also feel nervous. You may find your mind and heart flooding with questions and even some concerns. You have so much to look forward to; you’ll get to watch the Lord unfold his plans right before our eyes! He’s bringing us all together to serve him. Some of us don’t know each other all that well. It will be fun. We’ll laugh together, and maybe even cry together, too. You’ll learn, and you’ll teach. And the Holy Spirit will strengthen your faith. While you’re making plans, your Lord has great plans in mind for you. Remember, you can “commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed” (Proverbs 16:3).
In every mission trip, a lot goes on behind the scenes—some of which we’ll never know about. People are praying for us. Some are supporting us financially. Leaders are working on details. Our Savior is at work behind the scenes, too. He’s not only with us here and now, but he’s also present in (name the place you are going). He’s already opening doors for our service, laying the groundwork for our ministry, preparing hearts to receive Jesus. Yes, some will reject God’s Good News, and Jesus knows it. Our Lord asks only that we sow the seed. He’ll give the growth. Listen to what the prophet Isaiah wrote about that:
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands." Isaiah 55:10–12

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A New Kind of Army


"Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears" (Joel 3:9-10).
 
God is raising up a new kind of army in these last days. It is the remnant in the Body of Christ that has the greatest potential for societal transformation of any segment of society - men and women in the workplace. It is a remnant that has been largely silent.


Plowshares and pruning hooks are agricultural instruments that farmers use in their work. The prophet Joel says these very instruments will be used in the last days as weapons of war. However, it won't be a war against man and an enemy, but against the Kingdom of darkness. 

As we enter the last days, men and women will begin to see their vocations as instruments to defeat the forces of evil and usher in the Kingdom of God. You will see Christ glorified in the marketplace like never before. You will see hundreds and thousands become part of a new harvest of souls in the "9 to 5 window", where many have yet to experience the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ

What has to happen for your plowshare or pruning hook to be transformed into a weapon of love, designed to cut through the strongholds of unbelief and corruption in your workplace? You are a spiritual warrior in a worker's uniform. 

God has called you to transform your view of yourself and your work. He desires to use you and your work life to impact your workplace, city and nation. Are you ready to beat your plowshare into a sword and your pruning hook into a spear?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Worshiping God


God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
John 4:24, NKJV

To worship God means to attribute worth to God through obedience to God, preoccupation with God, and praise of God. The Samaritan woman at the well in Sychar said, in essence, "Oh, well, I worship God." And Jesus corrected her, "You Samaritans worship what you do not know." Why was her worship invalid? 

Because she was substituting the traditions and rituals of her religion for a personal relationship with God through faith. So Jesus explained, "God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24, NIV).

What does it mean to worship "in spirit and in truth"? 

To worship God in spirit means to worship Him in deepest sincerity from the heart as one who is indwelled by the Spirit of God. 

To worship Him in truth means to worship Him honestly, without hypocrisy, through faith in His Word, both the Living Word, which is Jesus, and the written Word, which is the Bible.

Accepting My Design

"Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?" (Rom 9:21).
 
Have you ever wished that God made you differently? Perhaps you wished you were more athletic or could have a totally different career. Or perhaps you wished you were prettier or taller or even have a different nose. 


God made every person differently and for different purposes. Not everyone is made to be in the public eye. Some are made to serve behind the scenes. It is important to know and be at peace with how and why God made you.  

Paul tells us in Romans that we are all crafted out of the same clay. There is no one molded and shaped like you, No one has the exact personality as you. Your DNA is one of a kind. 

God uses the common to produce the uncommon. No matter how inferior you may feel you are in a particular area, God desires to use you for His purposes. Your unique qualities are made to fit with the way He plans to use you for His purposes. This is why we must accept our uniqueness. We want His power to be manifested in our uniqueness. 

Thank God today for the way He made you.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Divine Plan


A Divine Plan

It's the equivalence of carving Mt. Rushmore with a butter knife or fitting the Eiffel Tower by hand. No other man-made monument can compare in size, detail and sheer amazement to the Egyptian Pyramids. They were the centerpiece of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

For over 4000 years these monstrous rock piles have stood to celebrate the imagination of the dreamer as well as the aching back of the doer. The Great Pyramid stands 450 feet from the desert floor and covers 13 acres. It contains more than 2 million stone blocks that average 2 1/2 tons each. Within the Pyramid's confines are almost a quater-mile of passageways, elaborate chambers, and several trap doors. It's an architectural marvel, yet its massive complexity is built upon a very simple equation: design multiplied by substance plus energy plus time equals pyramid.

Sounds like evangelism, doesn't it. As with building a great pyramid, regeneration of the human heart is seldom, if ever, an instantaneous event. The words "Quick" and "Conversion" just don't go together. In fact, "Quickie Conversions" are usually signs of misunderstandings, deceptions, or both. The process of redemption is also design multiplied by substance plus energy plus time. How many questions had Nicodemus asked himself before he brought his list to Jesus? How many heartbreaks had the Samaritan woman felt before she gave her heart to the Savior? How many Christian testimonies had Saul silenced before he yielded to their message?

I've often thought that conversion is a journey of 1 to 100. Each step is linked together to form the pilgrimage. No motion is wasted. A wooed soul moves from 1 to 6 as He's invited to church for the first time. A Gospel track takes him from 11 to 14. Curiously he reads from God's word....19 to 27. A co-worker shares the love of Christ....30 to 36. A Christian concert....40 to 45. He's back in church with an open mind....58-70. He asks questions about your message....70 to 74. Someone walks him through the plan of Salvation....84 to 90. He observes Christlikeness in a friend....93 to 98. He prays a prayer of faith and repentance....99 to 100.

The Angels rejoice. Nothing has been wasted. But, who led him to Christ? Numerous people did. Who gets the credit? God does. Was there a design? Yes, even before the foundation of the world. Was there substance, energy, time? Yes, yes, yes. The story of God's indescribable gift was shown through numerous spirit-chosen methods, all at the perfect moment. And we all got to participate. In the end stood the awesome creation of God, a New Christian. One of the true wonders.

This divine construction plan uses every message you give, every song we sing, every testimony we share, every program we play. God uses it all to equip the saints and to build up the body. It can't get any better than that.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Fine-tuned Instrument

A Fine-tuned Instrument

"...I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on My name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are My people,' and they will say, 'The Lord is our God.'" Zechariah 13:9 


My business career has been as an owner of a music retail store. Over the years, I have had the privilege to work with many different and prestigious accounts. One of those accounts was Steinway Pianos, the maker of the world's finest pianos. Each piano has always been made from scratch; it takes over a year to make one Steinway. The most impressive scene as I toured the manufacturing plant was the place where the soundboard is stretched to its maximum tolerance and allowed to sit for an extended period until it remains in the curved design. This was done in an off-to-the-corner part of the plant. If the wood were alive, it would be crying out for mercy. 


After an extended time of stretching, the wood will never spring back to its original state. It is permanently changed. The piano is becoming a fine-tuned instrument. After this process takes place, the next step requires another point of stress. It takes 11 tons of pressure on a piano to tune it. Each step in the process moves the piano closer to a finished product that will ultimately be played by the world's finest musicians. These musicians desire a particular sound that only a piano like this can make. 


God looks at each of us as a fine-tuned instrument. However, we begin as rough wood that He desires to transform into gold. Tuning us requires certain experiences that will stretch our faith, our frame, and our very life. Sainthood springs out of suffering. If we can stand the strain of this intense process, we will come forth as gold-as a sweet-smelling offering to our Maker. When we are in the midst of these times, it feels like fire. It is painful to be stretched beyond our perceived limits, but the Lord knows this is necessary for us to become an instrument that can play a beautiful song that others will seek after. 


Let the master Craftsman have His way in your life today. You will be pleased with the instrument He fashions.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Are You Horizontal or Vertical?





"Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight" (Isaiah 5:21).
Many of us have been trained to make decisions and respond to problems in a horizontal way instead of vertical. Operating from a horizontal basis means we try to fix the problem through our own self-efforts by bringing greater pressure upon it through our reasoning or our natural skills. Operating from a vertical position means we are seeking God for the answer and waiting for him to impact the problem. Perhaps it is a spouse who fails to put their clothes away, or a boss who is overly critical, or an employee that you clash with. When we operate horizontally we attempt to shame or coerce the other to change their ways.
God knows the solution to the problem before it ever exists. Our responsibility is to ask God for help to solve the problem and to rely on Him for the outcome. The minute we take on the responsibility, God quietly stands by to let us experience failure until we decide to seek Him for the answer.
One of the best examples of the contrast between a vertical and horizontal dimension in scripture is that of King Saul and David (see 1 Samuel 25). King Saul thought the way to preserve his kingdom was to kill David. While in pursuit of him there were several occasions when David had the opportunity to kill Saul, but David chose to wait upon God's timing and await his own deliverance because he understood authority. David had such respect for those who had been put in authority by God over him that he would not take matters into his own hands.
Saul represents the exact opposite of this principle. He thought David was the problem and sought to get rid of him through force. As a result, he lost his kingdom because he chose to rule horizontally instead of vertically under God's rule in his life.
No matter what problem you face today, stay vertical with God.

A Faithful Woman

A Faithful Woman

"Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her." Proverbs 31:28 


She was the Vice President of Household Affairs for her entire adult life. She had a husband, four daughters, and one son whom she managed. Her calling was not to the workplace; it was to the home. It was a calling that she fulfilled well. She often went beyond her job description to fulfill menial tasks like sewing clothes for her twin girls, playing dolls, and even playing catch with the only boy in the clan. 


Things were going along well until midway in life a telephone call came that changed everything. The caller informed her that the love of her life had been killed in an airplane crash. She was in her early 40's, still beautiful, with five kids to raise on her own in spite of the fact that she hadn't worked in the business place for nearly 20 years. The death of her husband removed their steady upper middle-class income, and she was now faced with the greatest test of her life. At her lowest moment, wondering how she was going to make it, she cried out to God. God answered, "Trust Me, Connie." Those audible words became the strength that she needed to care for her family for the next 20 years. From that moment on, she came to know her Savior personally and shared Him with her family. Her children came to know Him as well. Grandchildren became the recipient of her prayers, and they came to know Him too. She was building an inheritance in Heaven, one prayer at a time, one soul at a time. She never remarried; Christ became her Husband. 


Whatever wisdom and encouragement has come to you through these devotionals, it is only as a result of one who answered the call to the greatest and most important workplace there is: the home. You can thank my mom, Connie Moore, for whatever grace you have gained from these messages throughout the year, because she remained faithful to the call to invest in those she was called to love and serve. "Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her."


Saturday, January 14, 2012

You Were Made to Fly



"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised" (Job 1:21). 

Can a caterpillar fly? If you said, "No," you would be partially correct. Actually, a caterpillar can fly, but it must have a transformation first. 

The butterfly begins life as a caterpillar, a wormlike larva that spins a cocoon for itself. For weeks, the larva remains hidden within the cocoon as it undergoes metamorphosis. When it's time for the butterfly to emerge, it must struggle and fight its way out of the cocoon. We might be tempted to help this process by tearing open the cocoon - but that's the worst thing we could do. The struggle makes it strong and enables it to fly. Butterflies need adversity to become what God intended them to be. So do we. 

The Book of Job is the story of a wealthy and successful community leader named Job. He was a successful and righteous businessman with huge holdings of livestock and real estate. One day Satan came before God and asked him, "Where have you come from?" Satan replied, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it." 

God said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? He is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." Notice that God pointed Job out to Satan! God gave Satan permission to put Job through a trial of adversity. Job's herds were stolen, his servants were murdered, and all of Job's children were killed by a sudden tornado. 

Through his trial of adversity, he grows in strength, wisdom and faith. His entire perspective on God is transformed by his suffering. He was even accused of sin by his closest friends. 

We must get beyond the immature notion that God is interested only in making us healthy, wealthy and happy. More than anything, He wants us to be like Christ. And the road to becoming like Christ often leads through the wilderness of adversity. 

In order for the butterfly to fly, there must be a transformation process that is often developed through adversity.

Friday, January 13, 2012

13 Things Everyody Needs To Know Before They Die

THINGS EVERYBODY NEEDS TO KNOW BEFORE THEY DIE!

  1. There IS a God! 
  2. He is the Creator!
  3. He is Righteous!
  4. God loves you very much!
  5. He can help you!
  6. You have no hope without Him!
  7. You are dying because of you're sins!
  8. Jesus died to redeem you of sin!
  9.  You must surrender yourself to Jesus!
  10. Not to decide, is having decided!
  11. You will soon face Jesus as your friend, or as your judge!
  12. NOBODY parties in HELL!
"God loved you so much that He gave His only Son Jesus, so t hat whoever would put their trust in Christ, would not endure eternal Hell but would have everlasting life." John 3:16

100 Years From Now, What Will Matter Most?


100 Years From Now, What Will Matter Most?

(Make sure you have paper and pencil to copy down the Scripture References for later study)

100 YEARS FROM NOW…
What will it matter what cars you and I drove? What color or how expensive they were?
Or, if we even had a car?

100 YEARS FROM NOW…
What will it matter how beautiful or expensive our house was? Or, where it was?
Or, if something got spilled on our carpet?

100 YEARS FROM NOW…
What will it matter how much fun, or how impressive our toys were?
Or, if we could even afford such toys?

100 YEARS FROM NOW…
What will it matter how we spent LEISURE TIME on earth?

100 YEARS FROM NOW…
What will it matter how much money we earned, spent or saved on earth?

How much money will YOU have with you… 100 years from now?

100 YEARS FROM NOW…
What will it matter if we lived for our family and loved people on earth…
if we did not make certain of our eternal destiny…
AND THEIRS?

Yes, we should enjoy life now to the fullest. But, what a TRAGEDY if we FAIL or NEGLECT to prepare for eternity. 100 YEARS FROM NOW…
WHERE WILL YOU BE?

Have you ever wondered, “Why was I born?” “Why am I a living, breathing human being?” “Isn’t life more than just mere EXISTENCE for a few short years on this earth?”

YES, Earth is only PART of life.

The Bible, God’s Word says when God created man, He breathed into him the breath of life and “man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7)

FACT: All people have both, a temporary natural (physical) body and an eternal,
spiritual body. (1st Corinthians 15:44)
100 YEARS FROM NOW… all of us will still be alive…
IN OUR ETERNAL SPIRITUAL BODY.

The big question is WHERE?
Please read about the PLACES in your own Bible, Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 20:12-15; John 14:6; and Revelation 21:1-8.

Which PLACE do you want?

Now the question is… HOW can we be sure of Heaven?

100 YEARS FROM NOW…
What if I’ve spent my life doing good and helping other people?
Won’t that assure me of Heaven? That’s what most people think… until they learn the truth from the Bible, God’s Word.

MANY people (even religious people) are with the crowd on a BROAD road to SEPARATION FROM GOD FOREVER.  WHY? Because they are trusting their own GOOD WORKS for their salvation (at least partly). Please don’t take my word for this. Please read it for yourself in your own Bible in Matthew 7:13, 14, 21 – 23.

Now… Are you ready for some very GOOD NEWS?

100 YEARS FROM NOW…
(or sooner) YOU and I CAN be in Heaven because about 2,000 years ago, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sins and yours. 2,000 years ago, Christ shed His blood to completely pay for our sins, past, present and future. 2,000 years ago, He rose from the grave, proving to the world He finished the job God gave Him to do on that cross. He’s not on the cross now. He’s not in the grave now. He’s in Heaven waiting for all who will TRUST Him as their personal Savior.

100 YEARS FROM NOW…
You CAN be glad His hand reached down for you… HE LOVES YOU very, very much! He wants to save you from suffering forever in Hell because of your sins. He wants to give you His GIFT of salvation and eternal life with Him and your saved loved ones in Heaven.

Please check out this GOOD NEWS as recorded in your own Bible…
For the wages of sin is death (Hell): but the GIFT of God is eternal life (Heaven) through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

For God so loved the world (including you and me) that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus Christ), that whosoever believeth IN HIM should not perish (Hell) but have everlasting life (Heaven). (John 3:16)

100 YEARS FROM NOW…
the ONLY thing that will matter is… What have we done about the Lord Jesus Christ?
He that believeth on Him (Christ) is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:18)

And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son hath not life. (1st John 5:11,12)

Do you realize Christ died to pay for your sins 2,000 years ago and you cannot even HELP pay for your own sins?    YES___ NO___

Will you now TRUST the death of Jesus Christ ALONE (100%) as the TOTAL payment for your sins and salvation?    YES___ NO___

Steps to SALVATION


HAVE YOU PREPARED YOUR RIDE PLAN?

Step #1 - Pick Your Road.
So Many Roads, So Little Time!
Everybody enjoys a beautiful, scenic ride on a bike.
Few people really enjoy riding the flat, straight roads. The flat, straight roads are practical when you are in a hurry, but nobody really enjoys riding them.
Many people have ignored or rejected God because they think He wants to take the joy out of their ride, but God loves you and wants you to have a wonderful ride through life.
In John 10:10 Jesus said, "....I have come that they might have LIFE and have it to the fullest!"

Step #2 - Consider Your Destination.
Where a Road Ends Is Important Too!
A beautiful road leading to a fatal end is a deceptively bad road.
The same is true on your Spiritual Ride.
Prov. 16:25, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death."
We have all taken some wrong turns on life's road (committed sin).
Rom. 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Any turn from the road detours us from Heaven to Hell.
Rom. 6:23, "For the wages (destination, end result) of sin is death......"

Step #3 - Realize Your Dilemma.
You Can't Get There From Here!
If the Grand Canyon separates you from your destination, you're done.
Your bike can't jump the Grand Canyon, no matter how good it is!
Everyone's Spiritual Ride ends at the canyon of Sin and Death.
You can't jump it, no matter how good you have been.
There is no way YOU can do it, but God made a bridge over it.
In John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
 


Step #4 - Cross the Bridge Today!
Tomorrow Never Comes!
To simply know the facts about the Bridge does nothing to solve your dilemma.
You must make the decision to cross the Bridge.
A bridge isn't crossed by acknowledging its presence or by good intentions of crossing it some day.
You must accept Jesus Christ as God's only answer to your dilemma.
A couple isn't married until they commit their lives and say, "I do".
Jesus Christ isn't Lord until you commit your life to Him.
You must accept Christ by an act of your will in FAITH, not the feelings of your emotions.
You do that by simply asking Him to come into your life and take over.
In Rev. 3:20 Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in....."



Reality Check:
Take a good look at the two roads below.

Ride Plan #1
Your map is your own common sense.
Your way is as good as any other way.
You ride with fickle friends.
You plan to cross the canyon by your good works
outweighing your bad works to earn God's love.


Ride Plan #2
Christ and the Bible direct  your life.
You acknowledge Jesus as the only Way.
You ride with the Good Shepherd.
You plan to cross the canyon by submitting to God's plan and  receiving His love. 


Which Road best describes your life? 

Would you like to change to Road #2?

How To Change Roads.
Simply pray and ask Jesus Christ to change you TODAY.
God is personally calling you TODAY.
Pray this simple prayer TODAY.

"Lord Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner in need of salvation. Please forgive my sins and come into my life as my Lord and Savior. Give me a new mind, a new heart and a new life. Direct me in my daily decisions so I can turn from sin. Take me to Heaven when I die and fill me with Your Holy Spirit now. Thank You for hearing my prayer and saving my soul TODAY."

If you prayed this prayer and meant it, Jesus Christ promised to come into your heart, forgive your sins and give you a new life. It is impossible for God to lie, so receive His love, ride with His peace and begin a new life TODAY.